Question

I’m starting to get paranoid about bad breath. How do I know if I have gum disease?

Answer

Periodontal disease does have a characteristic odor on your breath.

It is often the bacteria build-up (both above and below the level of the gum that you can see) that make it noticeable.

Other causes in your mouth which you can address to rule them out include:

  • Tongue coatings (tongue scrapers are very helpful!)
  • Food trapping areas (including in cavities and around wisdom teeth pushing through the gum).

In dentistry we often find that bad breath halitosis can give us a window into the health of your body, too. This includes:

  • Hormone changes
  • Nose, throat and gut problems
  • Conditions such as diabetes
  • Liver or kidney problems

We have repeatedly found that unless prompted to check, lots of people have medical conditions that they were unaware of.

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